Hope for Mt Larcom? Govt reviews development areas

THE State Government is proposing a review of state development areas, and says it will work closely with residents in affected areas such as Mt Larcom.

Responding to a question from Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham in state parliament last week, deputy premier Jeff Seeney said the government was proposing a review of the management of all state development areas that were under the control of the coordinator-general within his department.

The Gladstone State Development Area, 15km north-west of Gladstone, was declared in 1993. Since then, it has been amended numerous times and now covers 29,000ha.

Mt Larcom residents have long been of the opinion that the SDA is preventing the town from growing.

In 2011 the State Government stopped a plan to build 225 homes in Mt Larcom because of the planned estate's proximity to the SDA.

Mr Seeney said the Gladstone SDA was a critical part of the government's port strategy, which was about ensuring that port development was limited to existing port footprints.

"The land use options within the SDA are a very important part of that," he said.

"We would be very happy to engage with the Member for Gladstone and the local Gladstone community in that process, to ensure that we can maximise the development opportunities within the port of Gladstone.

"The state development area that has been declared there for quite some time presents remarkable opportunities that can be best maximised in the development of Gladstone as a world-class port in the future."

Mr Seeney said it was clear that the development of additional ports along the Queensland coast would present a number of challenges, and that is why the state was keen to ensure opportunities within existing precincts such as Gladstone were maximised.

"Gladstone has an enormous amount of potential, as does Abbot Point and Dalrymple Bay, and they represent great economic infrastructure for Queenslanders, not just now, but into the future," Mr Seeney told parliament.

"The development of those areas will be done in conjunction with the local communities so that we can clearly understand all of the issues that might impact on people who own property within those state development areas, and communities that might coexist or exist in close proximity, as Mount Larcom does, to the state development area in Gladstone," he said.

However, Mr Seeney said that while the Gladstone SDA would be part of the review process, "it is a review with no fixed outcomes at the moment". 

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